Their expressions may not express it, but the “American Gothic” couple has enjoyed their stay at Simpson College so much they’ve decided to stick around awhile longer.
“God Bless America,” the 25-foot sculpture created by artist Seward Johnson, will remain in its place across the street from the Kent Campus Center on the Simpson campus through the end of March.
The imposing sculpture features the dour-looking farmer and his spinster daughter that Iowa native Grant Wood made famous. It has become a tourist attraction on campus, and it also has generated extensive media coverage.
“The sculpture has brought thousands of people to Simpson and Indianola and encouraged conservations about our history and culture,” said Bill Friedricks, professor of history and director of the Iowa History Center. “Its drawing power exceeded our wildest expectations. We’ll hate to see it go.”
The sculpture was originally expected to find a new home at the end of the year, but the Iowa History Center received an extension to keep it through the end of March.
The sculpture’s presence on the Simpson campus is made possible in part through the generous financial support of the James W. Hubbell Jr. and Helen H. Hubbell Foundation and the State Historical Society, Inc.
Bringing the sculpture to Simpson reflects the Iowa History Center’s mission to preserve and promote the state’s history.
The Iowa History Center is yet another example of the added value Simpson offers to its students. It’s one of the reasons the Washington Monthly website ranked Simpson among the “Best Bangs for the Buck” liberal arts schools in the country.